Samsung's Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic will pack a hot new SoC to handle Wear OS 3.0
The Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic (not the Galaxy Watch 4 Active) are right around the corner, and if you thought you knew everything about Samsung's next-gen Apple Watch alternatives before today, two new reports have added a bunch of previously unknown details to this very exciting equation within hours of each other.
After hearing a much more promising pricing rumor than the one from just a couple of weeks ago, we're here to talk about something that doesn't typically get a lot of attention ahead of a new Galaxy Watch-series release.
The first big processing upgrade in years
You know how the chipset is often the number one thing you look at in a smartphone's spec sheet? For some reason, that's very rarely the case for smartwatches, whether we're talking about iOS-only Apple products or iPhone and Android-compatible devices from Samsung.
Of course, there's a major difference between the way the two rivals generally tackle their smartwatch upgrades, as each new Apple Watch generation brings with it a new and more powerful in-house processor while the Galaxy Watch, Watch Active, Watch Active 2, and Watch 3 come with the exact same SoC under the hood.
The OG Galaxy Watch uses the same chip as the Galaxy Watch 3
At long last, the dual-core Exynos 9110 silicon powering all these 2018, 2019, and 2020-released gadgets will reportedly be replaced with an Exynos W920 chip inside this year's Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic.
Gear S3's Exynos 7270, so even the branding scheme suggests we're in for some radical improvements with the Exynos W920.In case you're wondering, that Exynos 9110 processor replaced the
If SamMobile's sources are correct (which is more often than not true), said improvements will materialize in "1.25x faster processing times" and "8.8x smoother graphics performance" for the Galaxy Watch 4 duo compared to the Watch 3.
Furthermore, Samsung is expected to go up from 1 to 1.5GB RAM (presumably, on both Bluetooth-only and LTE-enabled Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic variants), which makes us even more impressed by the very reasonable European price points tipped earlier today.
Will Wear OS 3.0 require so much extra power?
The honest answer to that question is... we have no idea. At least for now.
At the same time, processing upgrades are rarely a matter of "need" and often a matter of "want" or "let's see what we need further down the line" in the smartphone market, and Samsung could look to expand that policy to the wearable industry, future-proofing the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic with the massive aforementioned improvements.
That being said, we can definitely see the Wear OS-based One UI Watch platform actually require considerably more muscle under the hood to run a more extensive selection of apps and handle things like multitasking or multi-device connectivity better than Tizen.
That would also explain why so many existing Wear OS devices are unlikely to get the 3.0 update, as well as Samsung's controversial decision to essentially leave the Galaxy Watch 3 behind when it comes to major OS promotions.
It remains to be seen if the next wave of Wear OS smartwatches from companies like Fossil, Mobvoi, and Suunto will continue to rely on the Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor or if Qualcomm has a powerful replacement for that thing planned for a launch in the near future as well.
It would also be interesting to see other brands apart from Samsung end up using the Exynos W920 on their Wear OS 3.0-running smartwatches, although for the time being, we'll just file that under unfounded speculation unlikely to commercially materialize anytime soon.